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Juche (주체; 主體; also Kimilsungism) is the official government-sponsored ideology of North Korea. The name is Korean for self-reliance. Juche is based on Marxism and the teachings of Kim Il Sung; it is often confused with Stalinism.

Juche has been promoted by the North Korean government and educational system since the term was first used in a 1955 speech by Kim Il Sung. At first, the ideology consisted of two fundamental ideas: that the proletarian revolution belonged to the people, and that the masses must be organized by a great leader. In the 1970s, Kim introduced a refined analogy: that the leader is the brain to the body of the people, and that the Korean Workers' Party is, in turn, the nervous system that communicates with the brain on behalf of the people.

Juche was first conceived at a time when the USSR and People's Republic of China were vying for influence over North Korea's internal affairs; many historians view the emergence of Juche as Kim Il Sung's way of continually reasserting the state's independence. One noteworthy demonstration of this was the Juche-influenced Chollima (later known as Taean) economic campaign of the 1960's, where the government placed the economy under the strict control of the military in an attempt to build it up independently of Soviet support.

In 1977, "Juche" replaced "Marxism" in the North Korean constitution, solidifying its position in the state's government and society.

Many sociologists and other overseas scholars consider Juche to be a religious movement. The modern ideology indicates that adherents can achieve "immortal life" by shaping the "immortal state." The leader, according to Juche literature, is "received," in the same language that Korean Christians would "receive" communion. Juche authorities, however, state that the idea is a secular one.

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